The Florence Experience: A Culture Of Mediation

It is not easy to summarise the story of mediation in Italy, but I would like to draw our attention to what, in my view, was a historically fundamental factor in the development of mediation – the contribution of the Italian judiciary, beginning with so-called delegated mediation.

I am referring in particular to the contributions of the city of Florence, site of next month’s Italian Global Pound Conference.

In 2009, the Tribunal of Florence, in collaboration with the Florence Chamber of Commerce and the University of Florence Department of Law, as well as other local entities, launched the ‘Nausicaa Project’ (Progetto Nausicaa), an initiative dedicated to the development of delegated mediation.

Mediation and the law

Although no legislative decree concerning mediation had been widely publicised yet, the Nausicaa project drew inspiration from the principles enshrined in the European Directive n. 52 of 20 May 2008 (on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters) which maintains that justice is not the exclusive prerogative of the judiciary, but rather the result of forms of procedure best suited to the cases at hand.

The subsequent passage of the Italian Implementing Act led to a few alterations to the original project. In 2012, the Nausicaa Proje